UCSD Clinches CCAA Berth

With 29 points, UCSD (9-2-2) currently sits in first place of the CCAA South Division — six points in front of Cal Poly Pomona, who also has a guaranteed spot at the conference championships. In the North Division, Sonoma State holds a tenuous one-point lead over CSU Stanislaus, allowing both teams to advance to the CCAA playoffs.

On Friday, the Tritons fell 1–0 to No. 20 CSU Stanislaus — debatably the hottest team in the conference — despite man marking Stanislaus forward Karene Demery (the top goalscorer in the CCAA) and limiting the Warriors to only five shots on goal.

The game looked to go into extra time, remaining scoreless late into the second period. Neither team looked to hold the advantage, until in the 86th minute, when Stanislaus substitute Apryl Whitney teed up for a shot from 25 yards out. Having been on the field for only 16 minutes, Whitney sent in a shot that found its way past freshman keeper Kelcie Brodsky and into the upper corner of the goal.

The Tritons were unable to mount a response in the final minutes of the match.

“This is the kind of game, at home, there’s no way we should have lost that game,” UCSD Head Coach Brian McManus said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “We’ve got to be a lot more physical. We have to be a physical presence on the park. [CSU Stanislaus’s players] were physical all night. They won way too many 50-50 balls that we should have won. We still had enough chances in the box to finish the game, but we have to be brave in the box.”

McManus has been weary of the physicality his squad may lack, but even still, the Tritons seemed up to the challenge against Chico State on Sunday.

In their last home match of the season, the Tritons honored their 10 graduating seniors: forward Gabi Hernandez, midfielders Jessica Wi, Danielle Dixon, Ellie Nevarez and Alexa Enlow and defenders Ellen Wilson, Hayley Johnson, Britnee Chesney and Mary McWalters. However, UCSD depended on underclassmen to provide the attack, as last week’s CCAA Player of the Week, junior forward Izzy Pozurama, recorded two against the Wildcats while junior forward Laura Gordon secured the win with a third goal.

“Last weekend’s games were a challenging test as well as great preparation for the playoffs,” Enlow said. “I think we realized the importance of putting two halves together and completing for a complete game.”

The Tritons have two more games before closing out regular season play, although the Tritons can afford to lose both games without falling out of first place. UCSD will face CSU East Bay this Friday, Oct. 28 and CSU Monterey Bay on Oct. 30.

“It seems weird not to be playing at home again, but going into our final games and the CCAA tournament, we’re going to play with the target of hosting regionals so we get to experience the home atmosphere a little more,” Wi said.

The Tritons will have one week to prepare for postseason-play, where they will face either CSU Stanislaus or Chico State in the first round, Friday, Nov. 2 at the CSU Dominguez Hills campus.